Does downstate Illinois get too big of a share of the state’s road fund? The Republican candidates for governor don’t think so. Legislators from Chicago and its suburbs have complained that less populated parts of the state receive a disproportionate amount of transportation revenues. Currently, funds are divided in a 55/45 split, with the Chicago area getting the smaller chunk.
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Bruce Rauner thinks it’s an extension of a feud as old as the state itself. “I’ve heard the debate about downstate versus metro Chicago,” Rauner said. “The fighting within our state is one of the problems we’ve got.” State Senator Bill Brady says Chicago lawmakers who believe their area pays too much in gas taxes but doesn’t get enough back are forgetting about the tollway system.
“The toll roads were built up here with the understanding that they would paid for by tolls,” Brady said. “That’s why we allowed them to be built. That has to be taken into the equation about where road funds go.” All four candidates agreed that the bigger issue is taking road funds to pay for other programs.